Thursday, May 3, 2007

Families and Talking about a Religious Vocation

Have you ever talked to your parents about the possibility of becoming a Franciscan? Or, a religious of any community, for that matter? How about the possibility of becoming a priest? What was their reaction?

Maybe you talked about this to a brother or sister, or even a friend. What was the reaction of each?
It seems to me that a lot of young people, both teens and adults, find this very scary. What will they think of me? Will they think I'm nuts? Will they laugh at me? I remember one young lady whose (adoptive) mother actually threatened to disown her if she joined the convent -- and this was way back in the '70s! She didn't pursue religious life as a possible vocation.
My story is rather different. When I told my parents, who were older, and I was their only child, about wanting to become a Franciscan friar they were supportive. They simply told me that this was my life and if this is where I felt drawn, then I had their blessing to try it. And so I did.
The opinions of our parents, our other famiily members and our friends hold a lot of sway in our lives, don't they? We truly value them and their wishes. And they have a lot of weight in the way we think about ourselves and our futures.
I remember talking once to some parents about the possibility of their child (who was a young adult) having a religious vocation. The response I got was, "Well, Father, that's very fine for someone else's child, but not ours. We want grandchildren!" I replied respectfully with a friendly challenge, "Praise God you want grandchildren! I think that's great. But, we're not talking about YOUR vocation -- we're talking about your child's."
Do you feel free to talk about the possibility of a religious vocation with your parents? With your brothers and/or sisters? With your friends? If so, have you done so? If not, why not?
How about trying it today?

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